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Keratin Treatment Vs. Relaxer for Hair Straightening

As much as you like your exquisite curly or coily hair, it may reach a point where you will want straighter hair for easier handling. But once you get to your hairstylist, you are confused by comparisons between keratin treatment vs. relaxer.

You must understand that both processes transform naturally textured hair into smooth, frizz-free and straighter hair. Whether you are considering changing your hairstyle or spending less time managing your locks, any of these treatments can be your choice.

This article will explain the differences between the two processes so you can pick the best for your hair. Keep scrolling to know more.

1. Keratin Treatment

It is a semi-permanent hair treatment that uses keratin to straighten and smooth your hair. The treatment cream is infused with keratin protein to strengthen your hair and straighten it for easier handling. Before applying the treatment, you will need to clean your hair, then apply the treatment and blow it dry before flat ironing the hair to lock it in.

However, even if you love DIY hair tricks, it is best to visit a professional hairstylist for the application as it involves careful steps and can last several hours. 

a) What is a keratin treatment made of?

Keratin treatment contains a natural protein found in your skin, hair and nails. The keratin in the treatment is obtained from feathers, horns, and wool and then added to other good ingredients such as glyoxylic acid that help break down the hair bonds for fate results. 

Though not vegan, this duchess-worthy hair treatment will encourage easier hair handling and foster healthy hair growth. Like the Brazilian blowout, this type of treatment layers your hair strands with a protective cover to seal in nutrients and prevent environmental damage. 

b) How long does a keratin treatment last?

A keratin treatment could last up to six months. After that, however, you will need to have touch-ups often to maintain the results. During this time, your hair will be straight, smooth, and easy to handle, but, unfortunately, with reduced volume, which could limit your styling hacks.

c) Hair aftercare after applying a keratin treatment

To keep your hair glowing after a Keratin treatment, avoid cleaning it with water for at least three days. And when you do wash your hair for the first time, ensure to use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to maintain the straightening effects. You should also avoid tying your hair in tight styles and using heated styling tools as much as possible.

2. What Are Hair Relaxers?

Hair relaxers are chemical-based hair products specifically formulated to relax and smoothen curly or kinky hairs. Though most hair relaxers will straighten your hair fully, which will reduce volume, others are gentler and designed to deeply moisturize your hair for better growth.

(Related read: Brazilian blowout Vs. Relaxer comparison)

a) How do hair relaxers work?

Chemical relaxers break the disulfide bonds between the protein structures in the shafts of your hair to cause an alteration in the hair’s texture. As a result, your hair will be pin-straight, softer, and easier to handle. 

b) How long do hair relaxers Last?

As we mentioned earlier, hair relaxers are semi-permanent; and their effect on your hair could last up to 8 weeks. 

c) Types of hair relaxers

There are three types of hair relaxers you can choose from, but each choice depends on how coarse or curly your hair is. These are:

  1. Sodium hydroxide relaxers or Lye relaxes
  2. Calcium hydroxide relaxers or No-lye relaxers
  3. Ammonium thioglycolate relaxers

Note that the difference lies in the strengths of chemicals immersed in these relaxers. Always consult your hairstylist to understand which suits your hair type. 

Unlike Keratin treatment, which needs professional application, you can use various hair relaxers at home. Here is an easy 60-minute application process;

  1. Coat your scalp with petroleum jelly to avoid irritation.
  2. Apply the relaxer (lotion or cream) to the hair shaft and work your way up the strands. Ensure you use protective gloves to prevent poisoning.
  3. Leave the relaxer on for about 15 minutes and rinse it with warm water. However, if you notice any skin sensitivity, rinse the treatment with lukewarm water immediately before moisturizing your hair and scalp.
  4. Clean your hair with a neutralizing shampoo and condition it to balance the scalp pH.
  5. Appy a healthy hair moisturizer 

d) Hair aftercare after applying a relaxer

Chemical relaxers are not as gentle as keratin or Brazilian blowout treatments, meaning they can take an awful toll on your hair strands. After application, do the following to prevent any hair damage.

  • Avoid shampooing frequently
  • Use hydrating protein masks
  • Apply leave-in conditioners to preserve moisture balance
  • Avoid heat styling
  • Avoid using relaxers on color-treated air
  • Trim the dry and brittle hair ends
  • Use a gentle, sulfate-free reconstructing shampoo

e) Side effects associated with hair relaxers

Hair relaxers contain a pH of 9-12 and can be incredibly harsh to your hair and skin. They may;

  1. Cause chemical burns and injury during application
  2. Increase frizz 
  3. Make the hair dry and brittle after stripping it of moisture
  4. Cause hair loss, breakage, and dandruff

Which is Better Between Keratin Treatment Vs. Relaxer?

When applied by a professional, both keratin treatment and hair relaxers involve heat treatment, and the results may differ depending on your hair texture and the strength of the chemicals. 

However, if you want a treatment that will last you for several months without damaging your hair, Keratin treatment may be the best option for you. Also, the Keratin treatment is the best pick if you have coarse or thick hair, and you can also apply it to color-treated hair.

On the other hand, a relaxer is a good option when you want pin-straight hair, and the treatment will also last a few months before new growth appears.

Keratin treatment reduces frizz and gives lustrous hair that will last for 3-6 months. On the other hand, the relaxer is formulated with special chemicals to give you silky and glossy hair.

However, when deciding between the Keratin treatment vs. relaxer, a keratin treatment is the healthier option, but you need to ensure it does not contain unhealthy ingredients to protect you from adverse side effects.

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